Agosasa community in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State was thrown into mourning over the weekend, when officers of the state command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) allegedly shot and killed a 15-year-old girl, Miss Sekinat Agbelade.
The Customs officers were chasing a smuggled car in the community.
Agbelade, who was on an errand within the area when she was hit by the stray bullet from the men of Customs Service, eventually gave up the ghost at a private hospital in the community on Saturday.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the command, Abdulahi Maiwada, confirmed the incident.
He said: “I can confirm the incident but I don’t have the facts. By the time I have the facts, I would make them available.”
A witness, identified simply as Kazeem, said the Customs officers were chasing a purple Toyota Camry which was allegedly driven by a suspected rice smuggler.
The witness added that the officers were able to arrest the smuggler and afterward started shooting indiscriminately at everyone at sight.
He said: “Everything happened about 1p.m. on Saturday and aside Sekinat who died, two other people, 55-year-old Oluwole Oladosu and Saliu Babalola, were also injured by stray bullets.
“The incident happened in Agosasa area. The Customs were chasing a smuggler and the exact place is called Ita-Sango. They were able to intercept the smuggler with his smuggled goods and a series of things happened and they started shooting indiscriminately. The surprising thing is that they started shooting sporadically at the people even after intercepting the smuggler.
“It was in the process that this lady, who was sent on an errand, was hit by a bullet. Even with the bullet on her, she was making effort to run but she became weak.
“There is one 55-year-old Oluwole who saw the lady wriggling in pain because of the bullet wound and made an effort to rescue her. But these Customs officers, who had already moved the smuggled car, turned back and shot him for daring to save the young girl.
“The lady was taken to Olutunu Hospital at Agosasa where Dr. Fatokun made frantic efforts to salvage her life but she had lost a lot of blood because of the bullet wound and she died along the line.
Speaking with New Telegraph, the Caretaker Chairman of the local government, Hon. Kabir Abolurin, lamented the incessant killings of innocent citizens in the border town.
The chairman promised that the matter would be discussed at the next local government security meeting.
He said: “I got to Agosasa after the incident and they have removed the corpse of the girl. I spoke with the DPO of Ipokia and he said he has relayed the issue to the Commissioner of Police.
“We are tired and not happy about this continuous killing of our people by Customs. The Federal Government didn’t ask them to kill innocent citizens while chasing smugglers. They don’t have the right to shoot at people. We are simply in pains in Ipokia.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abimbola Oyeyemi, promised to get back to our correspondent as soon as he was briefed on the matter.